They range in size from 5 – 10 cm (2-4 inches), so not bad growth rates. (Those that we don’t keep will be re-graded, any with deformities will be taken out, and then the remainder will be put into a sales tank.) I took a few pictures of the keepers for you.
At this stage we are looking for a good Kohaku pattern and preferably a white nose and tail. The black is something that takes time to develop but, nevertheless, you don’t want too much black although some must be in evidence.
The female and two males that were used to breed these Showa were all from Isa and are ones which we have bought as Nisai over the last two or three years. They have been growing on in our brood fish tanks since we bought them and this is the first year that we have bred from them.
As they are a new set for us, it can make it more difficult when selecting as we don’t have a history of development for this particular set, although, of course, Isa has a reputation for producing high quality Showa and this is something that we can build on.
Each parent set produces their own style of offspring and using different combinations of parents is something that we try. We have, since this spawning was carried out, also spawned a second Showa set with a different female (from Fujio Oomo) but with the same males. It will be interesting to compare the difference in the offspring!
The markings on the bottom of the blue bucket in the photograph are centimetre intervals.
The hi on young Koi is always a pale orange because the skin is still very thin and the particular shade or depth at this stage can vary quite a bit from one parent set to the next. There are always those that look to be a safer bet than others, but it is often worth keeping some of the more unusual ones just to see how they develop. Sometimes it is the ones that seem “borderline” at this stage which can turn out to be rather nice and well worth growing on.